The difficulties of travelling with children

Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, has increased awareness this week of a stressful problem many parents experience when taking their…

Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, has increased awareness this week of a stressful problem many parents experience when taking their children abroad. She is highlighting the need to address the difficulty after she was stopped by security trying to board the Eurostar. She is married, but uses her maiden name, and so does not share the same surname as her daughter. She was asked to prove that her daughter belonged to her. She says that this has happened to over 6,000 women over the last 5 years. We can envisage a situation where this happens more and more frequently, given the rise in cohabiting couples and so increasing number of families who do not necessarily share the same surname.

Tulip was lucky to the extent that she was travelling with her husband and had only become temporarily separated from him through security. She was able to reunite with him and the result was no more than a frustrating delay. For many parents who do not share their child’s surname, whether in a married or unmarried relationship, whether separated or divorced from the other parent, there would not be such an easy solution. In addition to needing to prove the relationship between them and their own child, parents travelling alone with children could be asked to evidence that they have the other parent’s permission to take the children abroad.  

Family law expert Lottie Tyler has previously explored the little publicised concerns surrounding taking children out of the jurisdiction of England and Wales. If you are separated and unsure of your rights regarding taking your children on holiday, please seek legal advice if you are concerned or wish to ensure that there is no risk that you will not be allowed to travel.   

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